B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 7 months ago

101: The Pros & Cons of Remote Work Post Pandemic with Jack Mardack

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Years before the Covid-19 pandemic made remote work the norm, Jack Mardack, cofounder of global HR platform, Oyster® was building his vision of a world in which, through remote working, people could have a great career wherever they’re at in the world.

But where are we headed when it comes to post-pandemic productivity and how can we hire talent remotely? Will we lean more towards remote work, in office work, or somewhere in the middle?

We talked about the transformation of knowledge work, positive and negative impacts of remote work, and the pros and cons of going back to the office.

OPTIONAL: Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast: Jack Mardack, Cofounder of Oyster , and Leaning into the Future of Work.

Want to hear more? Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or here.

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You're listening to Beto B revenue,acceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executives stay on thecutting edge of sails and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show hi welcome to be to be a revenuwacceleration. My Name is Allana wit K and an er today with Jack Mardack,Cofondo of Oyster Oul. Are you today Jack Fantastic Bray, a pleasure to bewith you here today? Thank you so much for the invitation hat. Why are youBASAR? You are you in that Leli Carifornia? I am. I am in California,but not in the sunniest part. Alas, I am in San Francisco Yeah, so, okay, good good was still is tee,probably better in London. So why not so today will be talking about irinetalent, remotly, but before we get into the conversation, would you mind justgiving a quick background as to who you are where you come from and also, mostimportantly, explain was the Adbi now is tern and what Oystert does fantastic,so I'm Jack, Mardec, cofounder of Oyster, I'm originally from New York, Ihad a first career in banking. I moved to the bay area in the late s to takepart in the ABOP the bubble and the growth of the the first growth of theInternet, business and I've been very lucky to get to work at some amazingcompanies. I was the first head of marketing at event, Briht to first heada growth, AC, a Prezi and have have a had a good career in in marketing. Sofar, Tony and I met at Nex Mo a company that,if he founded in that exited to vonage in two thousand and sixteen and we were,we were keen to work together again on something that we could really put allof ourselves into and the idea behind oyster comes from the he prepandemicinspirational vision of a world in which, through remote working people,are able to have a great career wherever they live. The theinspirational picture for us is that talented people, wherever they are inthe world should should not be wasted, should have the chance to see theirfull potential realizes, and so we began to work on this software platformthat, from our perspective, was much needed. This is the middle of twothousand and nineteen, so we were looking ahead to a future at that Wussay already on the way the writing was already on the wall about promoteworking. There were certainly a number of companies- some big ones, as youknow, automatic, Gitlab, etc. That were saying this is amazing and we were veryattracted to that as a way to operate our own company, and it was also thethe Lens through which we came to appreciate the need for a solution tothe employment. The easy convenience employment of people around the world,as if as if that the fact that I'm a UK company and that wants to hire a Germanperson as if that wasn't a complication at all, so that was dhevision and sooyster is exactly that. Oyster is the HRIS system for globally distributedcompanies. We make it easy for growing company to tap the global talent pooland to hire pay and give great benefits to their people wherever they are inthe world. That sounds wonderful. I love themision. Thank you so much for that Jack. So, let's, let's peak about the Pon thebeginning, I'm led to believe that it's almost of fe at listing the news peopleare a bit more timistic, but let's see, but of course I think what a lot ofbusiness avondo stood last year. So I'm talking about two thusand and twenty isthat you need to be that invisible company you need to be. You need to beable to have people walking from home. You need to have cloud need to haveaccess to Systene, to have that flexibility...

...of wolking from Oman and with that tobe onest with you. I was not a massive fun of that, always so that I tink thepeople in the office was was quite good. I like to come into Youfis and feel theatmosphere that gives me an idea of Ou wer. We will be doing and all that sortof great stuff. I like to I like to feel the the utmostore of teoffise.However, yeah we learn last year that its actually quite fyng to get peoplewarking from Hem if they've got the right to infact twenty five percent offourteen well much more projective working from m. So now I am realy opento recruat remotely, but what a Nectonoston is? You know from yourpospective, what was the pusyte as well as the negative impact of irgyringprocess, going fully Viothur lesture right? So before we get to thatparticular question, I think it's useful to provide some context, and sothe best way to to understand the pandemic is is as a catalyst eventright, not as not as a persisting situation, but I think tha. Thesituation of the pandemic will pass but will be left with the catalytic effectsright and and those catalytic effects apply to the ongoing transformation ofknowledge work right. So this was. This was already something that wasinvolving. So, if you think of the previous era of work as the officeera right, it was in the it was in the Officera, the OFFICEERA. I is followedfrom the the factory era and the Officeera was really about bringingpeople together for the first time to work on information problems and inthat regard the office context was absolutely fantastic. You know knowledge work was born in theoffice and we did amazing things as as a human species together in thiscontext of doing knowledge, work and close proximity to each other, where wecould have w. We could share information, have conversation andadvance on these complicated problems of information, and so we have tocredit the office O for the birth of knowledge work, but perhaps thirty or forty years ago the advent ofsoftware first began to radically transform how people do knowledge workfast forward, a bit to the advent of the Internet and then soon after that,from a comparative time standpoint, the advent of broadband and the andmobility and the Internet, of course, really began to accelerate thetransformation of knowledge work and to begin to challenge some of theassumptions that we've had about how knowledge work needs to happen for avery long time. So this was allready happened. Ig, you have to see that thiswas already under way. More people were already working from home, where therfull time opart time enabled by a combination of things, some sometechnological and some new behavioral shifts where it had become more normalfor people to work in this way, and so the pandemic was not just about theacceleration of remote working. The pandemic has accelerated thetransformation of knowledge work, of which one part is the acceleration ofremote working and the best way to understand that is the removal of thelocation dependency on how we do knowledge work. This was alreadysomething that was being challenged by software slack zoom. We already hadthese tools broadband, so this this was already being challenged. The pandemicsaid boom. It's it's Al, so that the best way to understand it is it's adramatic acceleration and catalyst of the transformation of knowledge workthat was already underwigh right. So, in that context, companies that arethat were doing knowledge. Work have...

...experienced range of things. In some cases, they'vebeen surprised by how well they've adapted they've, been surprised by thereadiness of the tools that we were already using, like you know, slackweere already using it zoom weere already using these things, butsuddenly now with sort of a greater dependency, a d and then and theseorganizations of all sizes have realized, as you said, as you haverealized that this is this ais, a lot of positives? In fact, we can work verywell a and do I have have an amazing outcome, which is which is an increasein productivity and an increase in work, life balance and general well, healthand and happiness right. So so there are. There are great great reasons thathave become apparent to all kinds of companies to continue to work. In thisway, some companies have declared that they will be remote forever, thatthey're letting go the offices grates. Other companies are saying well we'regoing to scale back. You know we're going to we're going to cut a millionsquare feet in San Francisco and and we're going to we're going to applythat money in other ways that make more sense, and you also have many startupsthat are coming into existence as fully distributed companies for the veryfirst time they see that it's not a negative, you can still hire people.You can still raise money on zoom, as we did during during a pandemic and soyou're going to have reshuffling in the amount ofdistributed work amongst existing companies all the way from a little bitmore to a hundred percent and then you're going to have you're going tohave many many many more companies that are coming into existence as fullydistributed companies, and so the prospects for this is that yes, W E Rthis. This is the future. It is it's not ther. It's not just a reaction tothe pandemic. It's not just the acceleration of remote work. It is.Companies are making these adaptations in pursuit of better ways of work,better ways of doing knowledge, work, and so now we come to the talentacquisition question. So one of the one of the attractors one of the reasonsthat the companies are so interested in this new way of working is that theydo gain the the access to people that are beyond what might have been smallradiust surrounding an HQ in in London or in San Francisco, and so that's veryexciting. For multiple reasons. It's exciting for economic reasons, and sofar as one of the undesirable effects of the concentration of talent andcompanies and small geographic spaces is that salaries have to go up to matchthe rents which are which all ere, all driven by sort of a forced scarcity,which is comcompletely, comes from the idea of people going to an office towork. To remove that, and you have an opportunity to see how far your hundredhousand pounds can go in developer, talent in Lacvia or duby or Ganda, right and,and so that is, that is going to be an incredible effect to companies and alsothere are the Ganes in diversity of taent. I mean, I think the t e part ofwhat the pandemic has taught us is that people are really a company's mostimportant asset, and this is driving. I think, a renaissance of the HR functionand an shift in the way that companies thinkabout people and in the value of people and diversity, and inclusion and equityare going to be big themes in in the next decade. As as a result of this,and so the opportunity to bring in talentedindividuals with diverse backgrounds and diverse viewpoints is is veryattractive to a lot of companies and and that that comes together to createwhat I call a superpower around around talent acquisition that companies thatembrace this way of working are going to be able to accelerate and on thestrength of the brightest people and...

...the most the most diverse talent fromaround the world yeah. No, it does make NERFEC sense. What a very nice andinoquent way to put it together. Youe actually already. Also one of my nextquestion, which is you know what sort of things would we carry for wile froman Atre pospective from from the catalyst that was the Conda Nigan andyou just went through Bot, the equit and or that? But I guess for me, andprobably what's useful for Audienceeis understond, what were the barraals,that oyster is lifting lesgi Tha devloco in Yougda, for example, let'stalk about that data research in Letva? Let's talk about the he data ante EST in Manita, okay, traditionally what was what was? Whatis the pain that that she gams are sortving in? You know sh great questiongreat question, so you might wonder why is this hard? Why hasn't this beensolved already? Why hasn't software eaten this as it has eaten? So manyother things and the reason is employment itself? Employment is aregulated thing around the world. Hat makes all the difference. It meansthat countries have rules about how people are employed and, andthose rules are different, and so that is, that is a fun that is thefundamental complicator, which is there are consequences. There are rules,there's there's the importance of compliance and and getting to thatplace of being able to compliantly legally employ a person in anothercountry is long, complicated, expensive, a company could decide if they had theclarity to know that say a particular country was going to be important forthem. They have a factory in Germany and American company, then they mightcreate a German entity, spend half a million dollars a D and three or fourmonths setting that up from a legal perspective, hiring a local accountantto handle the taxation, Etcra and so th ut. That would be just that would bejust Germany right and so the creating their own subsidiary route is notsomething that that any company can do for multiple reasons, even when theyhave the res the resources like. Why should we create a subsidiary inGermany to hire one German Developmert, it's ridiculous right, and so fordecades we've had what is called the employer of record model, which was absolutely right fordestruction, and this this decades old employment model is based on the ideathat I'm a business whose business it is to allow other businesses to employthrough me, and so it's really kind of a paper clips and factis kind ofbusiness. It's not very digital there's! Really! No! No software in therethere's no consideration to the experience of the employee, for example,and but but that has been the alternative option for a lot ofcompanies and that is not easy, either expensive, sometimesso expensive that it challenges the economic benefits for employing someone in a PR in aparticular country. Anyway, if you're paying, you know twothusand dollars amonth, just to be able to, you know, hire them, then then that can that canbe an issue right, and so that was the context that that we saw and a and thatwe saw was ready for disruption, and so it's really he, the soft warization ofthe the combination of the information complexity, around legal compliantemployment in in multiple countries, the softwarization of that and it's thecreation of of a compliant payroll engine that makes it easy for companiesto pay and pounds or dollars or yen, as...

...the case may be, to an end point forthat for that for that employee, and so we build on recent evolution andinnovation on that front, there are there, are services available today orfor money transfer around the world that have only existed in the last fewyears, so we built our our HR enablement stack through a combinationof our own proprietary technology and leveraging some of the newinfrastructure that is available in the world of two thousand and twenty yeah.That makes perfect sinse that thinks by that I meannt one of the point tat shemade anl Yo Bout, th, San Francischoo and n London, and all that ithink. Ithink there is a few I'd like to come back to it quickly because well, ofcourse, there is the price, no Qe of the day jobs, wor meter of of space,OFI spacen. You know, we know that San Francis Quid not shit, ESIS Mandanright or on your place on Gas New York. But unfortunately, when you want to be a big company, you know you want to gowork, wetl, the actually right and the action lare in those places s you'vegot to be there right. However, hat whoat we see and pottually with theexplosion of of software companies coming up. So I'mtalking about you know your from Som Francisco. You just need to go to totake a time machine and go back to the most conny center ten years ago to goto any convention Gooi Your Microsoft, Partnow, r ssay or you name it. Youhave a much small bunch of people there now you've got like Italy. The citytacken over you know, as soon as there is, is like eight hundred SI stuffcoming in it's mad. Okay and wis. That come a few things right. You need tofind good. Developus is the Mor developas coming out of school? Arethey coming at the right scale? Ane they coming quickly enough out ofschool is thereou serous people, because we need to sell your stuff andeverybody is in a rushtoselde stuff. Is there enough people to market yourstuff, Ett, etc? SOTIC, I think appreciat there is. There is some cussaving Rematirin, but I also think that you can really give yourself a betterchance. I think, from my perspective, if I was to look at the best, thenumber one apportunitty of of using a solution like yous is really theability to get talent and an Vesu. Do Your creaty that I will have to choose.I medocrity Madio, tough Wad. I may have to take that back, but compromiseyeah, the compromise that you would have to make to sellit the best of abad Burnh. Now you can go for actually someone wis, probably a little bitchaper, and maybe you could get two of them for the price of one that will doa better jerb than the one, but you won't be able to touch it thet everyday,but you shouldn't do it anywey anyway, but you won't be able to see themphysically in yourfice every day, but yeah, and that for me, is, is thetrigger, because I still like your face- and I believe that- and maybe this isit's all businessis Proo to the way we run things, but we wild always haveofic space where people can get together and we can gather an that sortof stuff. However, access to language access to good sels resources and alsoatink people, I think you have a lot of very smart people, W oere looking atjust this was the point of me being in my threbedroom flatin fom Franncisco.I've got two kids now so I got enjoy the San Francisco night life anymor,it's kind of Covidnineteen, so ther respondiit, going on and theing in Jusspace for the REO, so people. So why shall I not just go in the middle of OA?You get myself a nice farm yoget a couple of pudies for the kids and and,as you said, that work Claye Balanceas Werl. So I think people are reallysmart and really good at what they are doing. They probably will want to goaway from the action. It looks, maybe yeah yeah, so he big picture there.Everyone's wondering: Where will we equiliborate after this right- and so Ithink, is somewhere in the middle- is...

...the clear answer and there will becompanies that make their own individual choice along a continual right? And but it'simportant to understand that the factors that are that are inbalancedright and so on the on the goback on the go back to theoffice side of things right and so many organizations are concerned about t ediminished productivity right. They they haven't solved that yet they havea lot of inertia in terms of other ways of working working in an office basedway, and so for them there is a legitimate concern of diminishedproductivity. There's also related to that. The fact that some operations andfunctions require the office. What we hear a lot, for example, is training of new employees is really notnot something that is very practical to kind of do entirely remote remotelythere are. There are some there's some things that have to happen N at afacility from from a logistic standpoint, and so some companiessimply require whether it's because they believe that that new starters to the company should notbe, let's say philosophically allowed to work premotely they may they mayhave a position. For example, I think facebook has said was part of theirdeclaration around remote work last year, that not all roles are eligibleand that, for the most part, New People to the company would probably still berequired to come into the office, and so that's a very interesting sort ofapproachind. So that will remain true for a lot of companies. They atheyquote, still need the office for some reason. The other concern is is aboutculture and socialization right people, and this is especially true ofcompanies. T that were at an office that have built relationships and waysof working were human beings and part of what we get out of out of ouremployment is: Is Access to other human beings and the socialization that thatis absolutely an important and important nourishment and last but notleast, some employees want to go back right. A an that. That is that that istrue, and I had a great conversation with on the subject of San Franciscoreally stated at on a podcast actually was a a club house. It was my firstclub House I did last week, and this was a fellow who had a lot of intimatefamiliarity with what is going on in the San Francisco Commercial, realestate scene, and he shared that there's like four hundred floors ofempty real estate and commercial real estate in in San Francisco. Right now,some eight point one million a square feet FYI and and- and he had the belief that, ifyou're in San Francisco and you're twenty five years old and you're andyou're sharing an apartment with three guys, you don't want to work remotelyright, you're interested in the social aspects which are a part of work o forso many people. I mean a lot of people still form romantic attachments at work.I mean so work the work, the work, social balance, an and thegratification that we get from that doesn't go away to that. To that personsharing a three sharing, a one bedroom with three three roommates, I would say,like you said Yeah, you know you could also move to Ohio right, and so that'snot the you w. It wouldn't have the problem of of having to suffer yourroommates all day, but but that that remains a legitat, a legitimate concernthat companies have is some people like? No, I would like to go back to theoffice Fort Bur, whatever reason so those are the the reasons to go back tothe office and then on the reasons. Not to it's the opportunity for tremendouscost savings right, and so I mean I'm not an expert in terms of how much expense goes to real estate in thecarriage of office space at the big companies. But I would imagine that ata company like you, O, Google or...

...facebook, it's well into the tens ofmillions of dollars yeah per year, and so these companies are going to are goingto make a balanced decision about the pros and cons, and it might be truethat billy, you know who lives in insoma would love to return to the SanFrancisco Office of facebook. But maybe facebook decides that it. You know it'snot worth it and you know sorry billy. You know we love you, but but we'rewe're scaling back on San Francisco Square footage as a part of this kindof new new rebalancing, and so that that counters people say well. Peoplewant to go back to the office, but but the economic incentive, particularlyfor very large companies, is extremely extremely significant and counter tothe first point: Some employees want to stay home and then the the third third piece I'lljust call it broadly the superpowers of distributed Compani. Many companies areattracted to the superpowers, which include accelerated organizationalperformance, h, the advantages of access to the global talent, theincrease in an average employee, wellness and happiness. So these arevery attractive factors, and so I think that every company W will draw its ownpan or the elents given given those considerate. Now I think, You'are Right.I think it does depend so much on the demographic of the clients of thecompany Saretet you are, you are so it does depend on the debographic of theEmprloye that you've got a D and For us we felt that you know we've got. I think we were NECESSAR IMPACTIN nouthAmerica, because I think we ou guys are basin Dallas and intaus. We probablyham like one wee of flum down and then I was pretty bud. Shitten people arestill puting into the offis WITMAS CON, but in Europe were to stop. You know wehad by lo to we wanted to load to comtodie. F is Ri, was kind of e, waskind of not o load ten and where the lot of people complaining with a lot ofpeople complaining because they were not in the right state of mind. Youknow, even from even from a mental and sperspective you ave people who aresocialize, you have people that fit themselves from oter people. Next tothem, you've got people. AU Comin, the Ouffice, as you say, could be romanticcould be. Benter could be energy that you get from Oour people and when youthink Yo got it. Walking is probably wirth, eity, persent, O or week at themoment, and it's funny I was I was speaking toone of my clients and I've been back in the office. You know when they thereWen you know to to sign some stuff and do some things in person. That needs tobe done, and there was a couple of people thed and yeah. It's actuallygreat because many days ae like back to vacuum course at the moment and when Igo to tjeofe said I just clean that up and I just get into ade school an isactually fantastic to be a little bitless projuctive, but rettle bit uphere. You know you come back in the evening, and so I think you're rightithing for me is the balance, because now what I got an Ikif, my Todo, thisis getting out of end. I can walk from home. I'm set up now. ' Got My desk,I'm not working fror, my you know IV, so foun whatever ido, so I can reallyget stuff done, but ae sometimes when I've got a little bit more time andKird of thought to be in the office. It's actually quite niceto be a little bit less productive to be in the contact of people, but againI's just me. So I's, not a as you said, t I think, is the equip Pram and eachcompany will have to make decision of their own and and Adviseon n what they want to do,but rest injort. I think Ur your solutionis ratively portinate, if not really pertinet and N. I fact you know We'e,probably looking at at using your solution, because now that we go totaste of remot walking and we let it works for us, we are really likey toget people in different countries because, as you know, business isreally is long age driven. We need, we...

...need to have people wone us on the culdshow and its definitely Gil a solution at we. We see a lot of valuing, so Iwantyou to thank you so much for your time. Jacke onfortunately were get intothe end of our session today. I think we probably could have gotten photos ofsirtyets at least but but but you know all good things come to an end at somepoint. Unfortunately, but I guess do the Qussionai ask at that time of thatpoint in the podcast is really around people. whow want to get in touch withyou, so there is to US PA. There is people who may want to discuss with youand and get your knowledge and and maybe speak about paying point ofthaficing and someone's else mes. You know what I did not know that somethimg, like Wisto existed and yes, I'd love to get a Shuev Rokos in Medvia,and it's always been a problem. U I want to get one so so, if you want toget Yin to treat you jack was the best way to get intot Treatou. So to get intouch with me personally, I'm a jacket, oyster, hrcom and, and anyone who isinterested in our services, can reach out to me or feel free to visit Oysterhrcom and create a free account and get started. We've made it quite easy toget going. I would say also anyone who we're very committed to supportingcompanies that are reaching for this ambition of being a distributed companywho are really inspired by these superpowers, and so I would welcome thechance to speak to anyone who who is looking for help or guidance either asa leader at a distributed company or someone in the in the people function.Who wants to understand sort of how to make all of that work better? We're excited to share our ownknowledge and insights as as a growing fully distributed company ourselves,and so I would I would extend that offer warmly to anyone in the audience.That's wonderful, er! Thank you! So much for your time, Jack. Today it wasan actulally pleasure Tohaveou on Te Show likewis Ray operadics has redefined the meaning ofrevenue generation for technology companies worldwide, while thetraditional concepts of building and managing insize sales teams in househas existed for many years, companies are struggling with the lack of focus,agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprisetechnology sales see Ow operatics can help your company accelerate pipelineat operatics, dot net you've been listening to B, to b revenueacceleration to ensure that you never miss an episode subscribe to the showin your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening until nexttime.

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